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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Her Secret (The Amish of Hart County #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray


After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she'll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he's misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

Shelley Shepard Gray writes the sweetest Amish/Christian romances, and with this first installment of the Amish of Hart County series she's added an element of suspense to the story, too.

In the beginning, our heroine Hannah seemed to be a bit skittish, and who can blame her? It didn't take long, however, for her to find her inner strength and bravely move on. Of course Isaac was a big help with that! His patience and compassion and willingness to 'go slow' made me love him for Hannah, and I hope to see more of them in future installments of the series!

I've read several of Ms. Gray's Amish romances and have enjoyed every one of them. The characters are such awesome people who are easy to relate to. Whether going through a "crisis of faith" or suffering loss that makes their faith stronger, I always find myself invested in the people and their journey down whatever path life has put them on. So, if you find yourself in the mood for a charming Christian read, be sure to take a peek at Shelley Shepard Gray's stories. You'll be glad you did!

An ARC was provided by Avon Inspire. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Viscount and the Vixen (The Hellions of Havisham #3) by Loretta Chase


Love begets madness. Viscount Locksley watched it happen to his father after his cherished wife’s death. But when his sire arranges to marry flame-haired fortune hunter Portia Gadstone, Locke is compelled to take drastic measures to stop the stunning beauty from taking advantage of the marquess. A marriage of mutual pleasure could be convenient, indeed... as long as inconvenient feelings don’t interfere.

Desperation forced Portia to agree to marry a madman. The arrangement will offer the protection she needs. Or so she believes until the marquess’s distractingly handsome son peruses the fine print... and takes his father’s place!

Now the sedate—and, more importantly, secure—union Portia planned has been tossed in favor of one simmering with wicked temptation and potential heartbreak. Because as she begins to fall for her devilishly seductive husband, her dark secrets surface and threaten to ruin them both—unless Locke is willing to risk all and open his heart to love.

The Viscount and the Vixen is wonderful! More than a romance, it's a beautiful love story, and I can't seem to put into words how deeply it touched me. I was certain I wouldn't like her, but Portia is so much more than she appears. Even though I was shocked and appalled as her story unfolds, I often felt like my heart was being torn apart and was brought to tears for the things she endured and the choices she had to make. And Locke... what a devoted son he is! And attractive, hard working, sensual and sexy and... well, you can see, I wasn't lying when I said I'm having trouble finding the words to express what a moving tale this is.

I'm thrilled to read that the man who made this series possible, the Marquess of Marsden, and the love of his life, Linnie, will have their story told in a novella called Making Merry with the Marquess. It's due out in early 2017!!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review - albeit a short one!

Click here to purchase The Viscount and the Vixen by Lorraine Heath at Amazon

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sacred Texts of the World (The Great Courses #6160) by Professor Grant Hardy

With few exceptions, the world's religions are anchored in their sacred texts-core writings that express the ideals and vision of the faiths, forming a basis for belief and action. Humanity's library of sacred writings is a huge canon that includes many of the most influential books ever written. In addition to the Hebrew and Christian bibles and the Quran of Islam, major sacred writings include the Hindu Vedas, the Buddhist Sutras, Daoism's Daodejing, and the Analects of Confucius, as well as the beloved texts of religions such as Zoroastrianism and Jainism, and modern faiths such as Baha'i.

These are texts that people live by and, at times, are willing to die for.

In these 36 lectures, Professor Hardy takes you deeply into the body of sacred writings that have played a fundamental role in human culture and history. Discussing a broad range of texts, the course examines the scriptures of seven major religions, as well as nine lesser known or smaller faiths, including texts from the ancient Egyptian and Mayan societies. In addition to studying the scriptures of the Judeo-Christian and Islamic worlds, you'll discover religious texts from vastly differing cultures around the world.

These richly insightful lectures highlight a global legacy of faith, thought, and spirituality.

I am impressed - soooo impressed - with Professor Grant Hardy's lectures on Sacred Texts of the World. It's one of Audible's The Great Courses and it is fascinating! It covers ancient texts as well as modern, and everything in between.

Why am I so impressed? Because he gives us 36 faith specific chapters worth of lectures (each about 30 minutes long) and even though he can't possibly have lived each of these religions, he shares informed, impartial, compassionate insights. He talks about the text's level of importance to each faith, and not once did he mock, make light, snicker, or disrespect those that he might disagree with. Nor could I even tell if he disagreed with any of them!

Sacred Texts of the World has easily become one of my favorite of The Great Courses.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Rock Chick Reawakening (Rock Chick 0.5) by Kristen Ashley


From New York Times bestselling author, Kristen Ashley, comes the long-awaited story of Daisy and Marcus, Rock Chick Reawakening. A prequel to Kristen’s Rock Chick series, Rock Chick Reawakening shares the tale of the devastating event that nearly broke Daisy, an event that set Marcus Sloane—one of Denver’s most respected businessmen and one of the Denver underground’s most feared crime bosses—into finally making his move to win the heart of the woman who stole his.

Like many of you, I've always imagined what Daisy and Marcus' story must have been like, the romance and the poignancy behind their happily ever after. The power of their love to overcome anything and everything. The chance to get inside Marcus' head - and his heart - and discover all the things he feels for Daisy, and why he feels them. This isn't just wonderful, it's AMAZING!

I remember Kristen Ashley saying that she knew everyone wanted this story, that it was one of the most highly requested books, but that she wasn't sure how to do them justice, doing it going backwards and in a novella. Well, she might have been worried, but I wasn't. I wasn't apprehensive. I wasn't concerned their story wouldn't measure up - this is KRISTEN ASHLEY we're talking about! She can write no wrong!!! What I was was captivated, completely drawn in, and totally swept off my feet.

I laughed.
I cried.
I sighed.
I cried some more.
And in the end, I came away loving Daisy and Marcus even more than I did from the beginning.

Needless to say - but I'll say it anyway - I love this story. One of the best of the series. Daisy and Marcus now (officially) hold a place of honor on my Top Couples of All Time shelf.

Well done, Kristen. Beautifully told!!!

Click here to purchase Rock Chick Reawakening at Amazon

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Seven Minutes in Heaven (Desperate Duchesses #9) by Eloisa James


All of Eugenia Snowe’s problems start when Edward Reeve, an arrogant bastard son of an earl, bursts into her registry office. He wants a governess and he wants her. She gives him the governess he demands, but she refuses to give herself.

No question that Eugenia enjoys crossing wits with the brilliant inventor, but she will never tarnish her reputation with an affaire, particularly with a man who doesn’t realize she’s a lady!

She holds her ground…until he kidnaps her.

Ward will stop at nothing to convince Eugenia that they’re meant to be together. He promises her heaven.

She gives him seven minutes.

Seven Minutes in Heaven
is the 9th book in Eloisa James’ Desperate Duchesses series (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers #3) and, at times, had me laughing so hard I was in tears. Reading this also had me sighing, tsking, and falling in love with Edward Reeve and Eugenia Snowe, and cheering for their happily ever after.

I just love the way Ms. James’ brings her characters to life, making me love them for all the things they are, and all the things they are not. They are flawed, they are quirky and, sometimes, haven’t the judgment of a gnat… and I love them all the more for it.

Brava! An absolutely delightfully entertaining story!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I’m giving them an honest review.

Purchase Seven Minutes in Heaven on Amazon by clicking here

Friday, November 4, 2016

One Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay 2.5) by Jill Shalvis

Blurb… It’s Christmas Eve and Rory Andrews is desperate to get home to the family she hasn’t seen in years. Problem is, her only ride to Lake Tahoe comes in the form of the annoyingly handsome Max Stranton, and his big, goofy, lovable dog Carl.

Hours stuck in a truck with the dead sexy Max sounds like a fate worse than death (not), but Rory’s out of options. She’s had a crush on Max since high school and she knows he’s attracted to her, too. But they have history… and Max is the only one who knows why it went south.

They’ve done a good job of ignoring their chemistry so far, but a long road trip in a massive blizzard might be just what they need to face their past… and one steamy, snowy night is all it takes to bring Max and Rory together at last.

One Snowy Night is a wonderful holiday novella featuring Rory Andrews who, as we’ve learned from previous books, had a very troubled past. In this story she finally returns home to face that past and in the process discovers her future has been right in front of her all along.

Max Stranton is the kind of man I would love to be in love with. He’s strong, dependable, patient, and all kinds of sexy. Together, he and Rory made this holiday story a delight and I’m so, so happy for them!

My only complaint (which is a good kind of complaint) is that I wish Rory had gotten a longer story because she’s just such an awesome woman.

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I’m giving them an honest review.